Clowder of ‘oyens’ wows crowds in Sepang

Some of the 250 orange cats and their owners at The Largest Gathering of Orange Cats in Sepang.

If the antics of a single “oyen” – an endearing nickname given by Malaysians to ginger or orange-coloured cats – are enough to cause a commotion, imagine what can happen if over 250 felines of this colour gather in one place?

The Largest Gathering of Orange Cats indeed drew multitudes to gateway@KLIA2 in Sepang, Selangor, and gave visitors a chance to observe the cute behaviour of the various breeds of ginger cats, which are known for their sociable and friendly nature.

The event was organised by Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Terminal 2 mall in conjunction with its 10th anniversary as well as the release of animated comedy The Garfield Movie.

The dapper American shorthair and Persian mix King Oyen.The dapper American shorthair and Persian mix King Oyen.

One cat that stood out was a male American shorthair and Persian mix named King Oyen.

It looked dapper, dressed in traditional Malay attire, complete with headgear and sunglasses.

And, like a professional model, it posed confidently in front of the camera.

“King Oyen loves attention and is an obedient cat that understands what I say,” said proud owner Sofea Salleh, 51, who adopted the cat five years ago.

She said the name King Oyen was given by netizens after the antics of her beloved pet went viral on social media, including the cat’s relaxed demeanour while riding pillion on its owner’s bicycle.

Sofea with King Oyen at the event celebrating lovable orange cats at gateway@klia2.Sofea with King Oyen at the event celebrating lovable orange cats at gateway@klia2.

Sofea said King Oyen, whose original name was Macho Kingsley, would get stressed and act up if it did not get to ride the bicycle.

She added that Oyen’s antics had resulted in the cat being appointed ambassador for a cat food brand, thus creating an income stream.

A Garfield lookalike contest was also organised during the event, where Hara won the top prize and its owner Adam Zailani, 26, took home RM500 cash.

Adam said this was the first time his pet had participated in a contest and did not expect his four-year-old domestic cat to stand out among over 200 competitors.

“My initial intention was just to give Hara some exposure and let her meet other orange cats, but this competition is great because usually events like this involve only expensive breeds.

Adam (left) holding his pet Hara that won the Garfield lookalike contest. — Photos: BernamaAdam (left) holding his pet Hara that won the Garfield lookalike contest. — Photos: Bernama

“This event is different (as it featured cats of all breeds),” he told Bernama.

The Largest Gathering of Orange Cats was organised in collaboration with Malaysia Cat Club.

Club president Khalid Rashid said the programme was aimed at providing exposure to cat owners and the public and educating them about caring for their felines.

“Orange cats, often called oyen, are special and known to be mischievous.

“They are also garnering a lot of attention on the Internet nowadays.

“So, this time we wanted to organise something different,” he said.

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